Tiller autopilot replacement

Concerto

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My trusty old Autohelm 2000 (35 years old) has decide to pack up. The Raymarine ST2000 is rated for 4000kg, but my Westerly Fulmar weighs 5500kg loaded according to the crane driver, so I need the Evolution EV100 tiller which has a 6000kg rating.

The list price is £1500, but the best price I can get in the UK is £1250. Trying to search on the continent is proving difficult, but in another thread a German company was recommended. Well blow me down the Euro price of 1298.95 is almost the same as the discounted sterling number. http://www.svb24.com/en/raymarine-autopilot-evolution-with-drive.html The exchange rate is so good against the euro, it makes this just £920 plus carriage.

So I am looking at a potential £300 saving. So my question is why have the UK prices been kept so high as all the stock is shipped from Belgium. Under Eurpoean free trade rules there should be no problem in cross border purchasing a new autopilot. Now my aim is to see if I can find an even better price. Can anyone recommend any other companies to try.
 

Concerto

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Many Fulmars used the Autohelm 2000, even though it was originaly rated at 4000kg as the tiller loads are fairly light and the designed displacement is 4500kg. As I sail singlehanded most of the time, I thought it was prudent to invest in the more powerful system. Also the electronics will be inside the boat rather than exposed as part of the drive unit. When my unit packed up I had a rollicking sail, part broad reach and then mainly close hauled with up to 33 knots over the deck, so I am not just a fair weather sailor. Upgrading the system seems wise as to me it is a safety issue.
 

BabaYaga

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FulmarJeddo

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You will certainly notice a difference between the EV100 and the Autohelm2000. I replaced my Autohelm2000 with the SPX5 about 3 years ago. The newer autopilots respond much quicker and the extra power means it carries on working where the old 2000 would give up when the boat is pressed hard. I crossed the channel recently and on the way back we had some quite nasty weather. My crew were of the old school and keen to tiller steer but struggled to keep the course I had set. I put the pilot on and we kept exactly to the route I had programmed in the plotter. Most of the trip back was with 30kts of wind on the nose, so we had no option to motor virtually the whole way across.
 

Topcat47

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I was faced with a similar problem last year when the ram for my Autohelm 2000 packed up. I found a company to rewind the motor. It cost £180.00 but it's a lot cheaper than a new Autopilot. Are you sure you're is unrepairable? I know Raymarine don't support them anymore, but there mat be someone who can even doctor the box of tricks.
 

Concerto

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The problem with the Autohelm may be that the dry plug socket is corroded or worn, but I have not yet had a chance of changing it to a new one from my spares. That may solve the problem. Originally I was told it was most likely to be water in the electrics, but it was bone dry inside the electronics. If I can get it working, I will still replace it and keep it as a back up system.

BabaTaga. Thank you for both those links, I have translated both web pages and there is little difference in the price.

Does anyone have any further recommendations before I start contacting them for shipping costs. Currently it is looking like I shall have change from £900 delivered, so a good saving and might persuade me to get the expensive remote control as well.
 
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